I have been so excited to share with you guys the results of my hilariously budget-friendly organization projects. I thought it only appropriate to start the week off with the project I tackled last Monday (also the project that started me on this week of organization). We’re talking about Mr. P’s closet.
There it is before. Not horrifying, per se, but every time I unloaded clean clothes in it, I was overwhelmed at how short it fell from what we needed. No drawer was big enough to hold everything it was designated for. There were things for which there were no places, which resulted in piles of stuff. There were items that made no sense being in his closet.
A basket of home goods, an unused Baby Bjorn, a helmet. No. No no no.
A pile of unknowns left there to die. Another helmet. A hat. Ughk.
Peering down beside the drawer, we see wrapping paper, a bow (as in a bow that you shoot arrows with), other unidentifiables.
The big problem was that we decided to make the living room closet Mr. P’s closet (for those of you who missed it, we live in a small 50s house with utterly tiny closets, one person can hardly make use of the bedroom closet). Items that seemed like they should be near the living room (wrapping paper, helmets) landed in here, even though we had already designated it as Mr. P’s closet. But getting passed the unconventionality of it, it actually makes a lot of sense to have his closet outside of the bedroom. Mr. P wakes up around 5am and normally has to lay his running clothes out the night before or stumble in the darkness trying to find them while I sleep. In the past, we had all his hanging clothes in this closet and all his folded clothes in the dresser in the bedroom, but that resulted in all of his running gear (the things he needs in the wee hours) remaining in the bedroom. So I took this organization project as an opportunity to make this setup really work for us.
And here it is after. The one item purchased for this closet makeover was the over-the-door shoe storage from Walmart for approximately $12. Initially we shared a shoe rack, which, being not nearly enough storage for both of us, resulted in shoes floating around the house, being shoved under the bed, and crammed into cubbies. This shoe storage just saved my life. On the top shelf, Mr. P’s scrubs are neatly folded (with only one pair currently, it doesn’t make sense for them to have their own drawer) next to his hat. In the future, I’d love to add a shelf to make better use of that space, but for now it turned out not to be necessary. The large 3-drawer bin made it’s way into the left side of the closet, with a new purpose in its storage.
His book bag now hangs off the floor just below the one little dash of cuteness that I added to this space, the “His” sign. I wish I could report where this came from, but it was a wedding gift from several years ago. My best guess would be Hobby Lobby?
On the right shelf, I folded Mr. P’s non-athletic shorts, because there are too few to require a drawer of their own (like the scrubs) and do not hang well. Again, I would love to add a second shelf to break up the immense vertical space that goes unused, but that’s a future project.
I dug up another 3-drawer bin that was going unused and sorted the rest of Mr. P’s running gear in it, again resulting in zero darkness fumbling and zero wife-waking. Thus proving that organization can improve your sleep. It’s a powerful thing, my friends.
So what happened to all the other stuff that was in here? Allow me to explain the process:
I began by pulling out everything from the floor and shelves. By having to put things back, it allowed me to decide whether items belonged in the closet. Helmets and bigger sports gear (like the bow) found a new home in our shed. Wrapping paper and home goods were relocated to the hall closet (which you’ll see later this week). Next, I emptied the drawers of the 3-drawer bin and asked myself, “what do I want in here?” This was helpful because so often when we clean and “organize,” it’s with something in our hand asking, “where does this go???” Turning the question around and asking what I wanted in the space made the end result much more practical.
This also turned out to be a great opportunity to purge unused clothes and items. As for the dresser in the bedroom, no I didn’t toss a bunch of leftover stuff into a bedroom junk drawer (I actually ended up with one empty drawer — magic). The drawers in the dresser were sorted as such: casual/gym shorts, athletic pants, and small sporting equipment.
There you have it. A cheap, powerful, closet makeover. In the future when I have a little more saved up for this project and want a more aesthetic solution, I would love to repaint this space and build a few more shelves. In the mean time, I hope these tips proved helpful. Tune in tomorrow for my closet makeover!